The Meridian Symphony Orchestra will be kicking off their 2019-2020 season this weekend. In celebration, Citizens National Bank hosted their Annual Patron Appreciation Luncheon to recognize those who keep the Meridian Symphony alive. “I need to dispel the myth that you can’t go to the orchestra unless you know something about music. That is absolutely not true in any way. All it takes to join the community of the orchestra is to walk in the door,” said Maestro Peter Rubardt. Citizens National Bank CEO Archie McDonnell said as chairman of the EMBDC, the symphony plays a major role in the economy here in the Meridian and surrounding area. “For a city our size to have everything that we have is truly amazing. So, the symphony is a big piece of that. Not only their performances but what the symphony organization does behind the scenes in terms of educating kids, getting them acclimated to different instruments so they can find their place in life, whether they’re musically inclined or not. So, it’s just a big piece of the puzzle that we use to create economic development in Meridian and the region,” said McDonnell.
And while ticket sales alone don’t put on a show, Rubardt says the symphony is thriving. “Ticket sales probably account for less than a quarter of the expenses that we have to put on a concert, and that’s not a bad thing. Symphonies are non-profit organizations just like libraries and other arts organizations—we are here for the good of the community,” said Rubardt. “Meridian Symphony just seems to go from high point to high point every season. We play a mix of classical concerts, pop concerts, educational concerts, family concerts, and our attendance is going well. We’re staying stable financially, and the town seems to be thriving, and it’s just a very happy time for the orchestra.” Their first concert will be Saturday night at 7 pm at the MSU Riley Center. For more information and upcoming show dates, be sure to visit their website, www.meridianso.org.